Review by Mousse_420
"NOT worthy of the series, NOT on par."
I was very optimistic about Thief 3 when I heard it was coming. I read previews and hands-on reports and such and it all sounded like it was going to be nice. I assumed that the people behind it knew what made the originals good. I was wrong.
I really don't like this trend of trying to lump on as many bump maps as we can, and specular lighting maps and whatever special effects they're using to try and make games look more detailed than they really are. It looks busy and ugly, at least in this case. I have heard people complain about the graphics in Thief 1 and 2; incidentally these are always people who never took the time to actually play these games, and despite how hard Thief 3 tries to look soo much better, I think it actually looks worse. What's more, I actually enjoyed the original Thief graphics, despite their awkward points (such as the guard models).
The beautiful animated briefings are gone, which were an integral part of Thief's story structure and style. Why fix something that wasn't broken??? At one point I was treated to a very un-stylized, generic pre-rendered cut-scene that didn't even look as good as the in-game graphics and would have easily worked as in-game dialogue. Anyway, I've talked about the story's presentation, what about the story itself? It's a boring, predictable excuse to re-visit all the old "familiar faces" from the first 2 games, as though the developers were aware this game wasn't good enough to warrant any actual new characters.
The sound is fine. That's not the problem.
Again, not the problem. Solid controls hardly redeem the game though.
One of my biggest (huge) complaints about this game is the pathetically tiny level size. The prison level is basically a SINGLE HALLWAY. Yea it has some little passages branching off, but all in all these maps are extremely small and simple, in contrast to the huge and complex levels we loved in the original games. Some have said it's the fact that this game was being developed simultaneously for Xbox, which has limited RAM. BS. I know Thief 1 and 2 could easily run on Xbox, so why should a more advanced engine mean LESS freedom of creativity for the level designers??? If it's because they're lumpimg bump maps on everything, guess what? DON'T USE SO MANY OF THEM. They look like crap anyway! I'm here to play a game, so why don't they make gameplay a priority?
I really thought the idea of a free-roaming city hub sounded awesome, but at the time I was assuming level size would be on a par with the originals (or BIGGER maybe, after all this WAS supposed to be a MORE advanced game) So tell me, what kind of anywhere-near-convincing city consists of a single city block? I realize being the size of an actual city would be going too far, but something more than 2-3 interconnected streets would have been more convincing and fun. These just feel like more tiny levels.
It feels to me like perhaps a lot of the people who worked on the original games might have been gone for this one, or maybe they just screwed up, but something definitely went very wrong.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 11/07/06
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